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Creating hard and sharp shadows.


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#1 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:04 PM

Hi, I'm shooting a project next week where we will need a 'shadow puppet' affect to appear on the far wall of a room which will be approximately 20' wide.

Now considering that the projected subject, like a hand or a puppet has to be out of shot but will throw a softer shadow when closer to the light source is there any ways of 'resharpening' the shadow say with a lens?

Thanks,
Andy
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:31 PM

What I've done in the past is to use a bare bulb source far away. I got an old mogul bipost socket and just made a mount to put it on a baby stand, with a 2K quartz lamp in it. Set a few flags around it to cut down on the bounce, and you can get light that's even harder than the sun.



-- J.S.
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#3 Alex Malm

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:02 PM

You could open the front of a fresnel so as to avoid using the lens. And set it to flood. If I'm not mistaken the flood setting on a fresnel creates fairly hard shadows.
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#4 Dominic Case

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 08:58 PM

The amount of blur (which is really circle of confusion projected the other way) is equal to the diameter of the light source, times the distance from puppet to wall, divided by the distance from puppet to light source.

So the further away the light source is from the puppet, the better. And the smaller the light source (or lens in front of it) the better.

Have you considered using a slide projector as your light source?

Alternatively, how big is your puppet? Can you use it horizontally over the surface of an old overhead projector (the sort used to project full page size transparencies?) Or re-rig one of those to have a vertical light plane?
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#5 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 01:35 PM

Hi, thanks for all the excellent replies, all have their own advantages and I'll have to test which ones are most suitable.

Hi Dominic, I literally dreamt of using a slide-projector last night and tried both my slide-projector and super 8 projector this morning, the slide projector was bright and very sharp, though the cine-projector was sharper but obviously has a rotating shutter that may cause some problems.

I never thought of an old overhead projector - I completely forgot they once existed! Lets hope I can still locate one.

Many thanks,
Andy
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Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport